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NGCINA – In what could fuel the already hot debate about the influx of Asians into the country, traditional authorities of Ngcina Chiefdom have ordered a businessman of Asian origin to shut down his business and vacate the area.

Having started last month to operate  the business, which is trading as Magwinyagwinya Grocery, the businessman was reportedly told that the country’s laws do not allow ‘foreigners’ to operate businesses on Swazi Nation Land hence he should shut down.

The business, together with its operating licence, was leased to the Asian businessman by the original owner of the shop, Moni Matsenjwa- who is a Swazi national and resident of the area.
According to Matsenjwa, for the past decade, he has been leasing his shop to different businesspeople in return for a certain fee.

He said since businesspeople of Asian origin were operating many shops in rural areas around the Lubombo region, he saw nothing wrong with leasing the shop to the Asian businessman.
Matsenjwa said after agreeing on the terms and conditions of the lease agreement with the Asian businessman, he informed traditional authorities in the area about the deal.

However, Matsenjwa said he was disappointed when the authorities unanimously objected to the deal he had struck with the Asian businessman, and, instead, ordered the Asian man to shut down.
“Batsi abawafuni emandiya landzaweni (They said they do not want Asians in the area),” said Matsenjwa adding that he was shocked by the attitude of the traditional authorities.

He said he thought traditional authorities would warmly welcome the Asian businessman because, according to him, most of the Asians doing business in the country were invited by the country’s authorities to open businesses here.
Matsenjwa said he was summoned at the umphakatsi where the decision rejecting the Asian businessman from operating the shop was communicated to him. He said his attempts to explain himself were rejected

When sought for comment, Headman at Ngcina Chiefdom Abraham Magagula confirmed that traditional authorities in the area ordered an Asian businessman to shut down his business and leave the area.
Magagula said it was general knowledge that only Swazis were allowed to operate businesses on Swazi Nation Land.

“The shop owner (Matsenjwa) did not consult us when he leased the shop to the Asian businessman. We just saw Asians operating the shop,” said Magagula while further adding that he had since referred the matter to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade officials, who are based in Siteki town.

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